Price paid: £ 284
Purchased from: Guitar Amp & Keyboard (GAK) Brighton U.K.
Sound — 9
I set up with my bedroom amp which is an Epi Valve Senior and first played some blues on the "old faithful" Korean Strat then A/B'd the Pro coil tap voices against that on the same amp settings. At this price point it seemed a fair comparison. Output of the classic p/u's compared very favourably in single coil mode, and the centre position had a nice "airy" feel to it. As the coil taps are push/pull on the volume pots you can open up the tonal palette by selecting one or other pickup in humbucking mode. Finally in traditional format the instrument does everything you would expect.
Overall Impression — 9
I've played a variety of musical styles over the years since learning guitar in the 60's. Mainly on keyboards I have to say, sometimes alternating guitar and keys at the same gigs. My guitar roots remain with the blues and the British blues boom. If Mr Green isn't God he's certainly Saint Peter. Gear wise I suffer from amp fetish, fielding a baker's dozen of Marshalls, Fenders, Peaveys et all. My first Marshall was a plexi with two 8x10" cabs. Wish I still had that! Nice products Jim, from a nice guy. R.I.P. Now Epiphone SG Pro - think you've got to try one.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The SG Pro has nickel hardware so that's a plus for longevity. The push/pull pots look a little fragile in the up (coil tap) position, but I guess that goes with the territory. I'm pleased with the Epiphone case I purchased, it's what I'd call a "cosmetic" version really looks good. The more practical among us might go for a Hiscox or SKB. Your dog can't eat a Hiscox but he can sure as hell a Gibson. Take my word for it!
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar arrived in a flawless deep cherry finish over a pleasing grain. Intonation out of the box was spot on, and the action very acceptable. My take on guitar action is "How low can you go" so I'll probably try to take it down. If there is a criticism it's that the frets are a little "raspy" on string bends, but that will probably play in. If not, nothing that a fret dress wouldn't cure.
Features — 9
I am reviewing this guitar on the first day of ownership, but there again they are pretty new, certainly in Europe, so my impressions may be of value to potential buyers, and especially lefties. In honesty the left hander's choices are severely limited so anything different is a breath of fresh air. I ordered it yesterday from G.A.K and it arrived together with its case (an extra) at 9.30 so no problems there. I have coveted a cherry SG since I was in my teens, and this the first truly left handed one acquired. I think the basic SG layout is familiar to most of us, the new feature was the COIL TAPS.